Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cory Lidle (1972-2006)

I was sorry to hear just now about the death of New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle. From the early reports, Lidle was apparently the owner and pilot of a private airplane that crashed into an apartment building in New York City today.

Lidle had the best season of his major league career here in the Bay Area in 2001, when he went 13-6 with a 3.59 ERA as a starter for the Oakland Athletics. This year, he was traded to the Yankees by the Philadelphia Phillies late in the campaign, and posted an overall record of 12-10 with a 4.85 ERA. Ironically, Lidle spent a few days on bereavement leave in August, following the death of his grandmother.

By all accounts, Lidle was a popular teammate and well-liked in the clubhouse. This despite the fact that he was refused membership in the Major League Baseball Players Association because he crossed the picket line as a replacement player during the 1994-95 baseball strike. A few of the hardline unionists continued to regard Lidle as a "scab" and strikebreaker more than a decade later.

My condolences to Lidle's family and teammates.

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